*Salvage protocol for treating very sick fish*

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blackstallion

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This is your only shot (and I'm not saying the odds are in your favor):
  1. Setup another QT - all clean water/no meds and don't reuse anything from the QT the fish are currently in. Temp & SG should match the tank they're coming out of.
  2. Move the fish. Technically, 5 days in therapeutic copper should be long enough to eliminate Velvet because those trophonts can only remain on a fish for 4 days max. The presence of therapeutic copper for five days should be shielding them from reinfection.
  3. Just try to get the fish eating again in the second tank (no meds).
If they survive, these fish will require further treatment down the road. But for right now the main priority is to get them eating again because they won't survive otherwise.
Thank you for your advice. This may well be the answer, but, unfortunately, right now my second QT tank is also occupied. Rookie mistake on my part that may cost these beautiful fish their lives ☹️.

Regarding the dosage of Furan-2, the instructions state 1 packet for every 10 gallons of water. My QT volume is right around 17g so I have been using the full 2 packets for each dose every 24 hours. Would this be considered overdosing? And if so, can Furan-2 be toxic or otherwise detrimental to the fish?
 

Humblefish

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Regarding the dosage of Furan-2, the instructions state 1 packet for every 10 gallons of water. My QT volume is right around 17g so I have been using the full 2 packets for each dose every 24 hours. Would this be considered overdosing? And if so, can Furan-2 be toxic or otherwise detrimental to the fish?

It could be factoring into the appetite suppression. Aquarium companies aren't exactly known for their QC standards, and every batch of Furan-2 that gets packaged probably contains a slightly different concentration of Nitrofurazone & Doxycycline Hyclate. If you happened to get packets that were slightly overdosed to begin with ..... :eek:

I would probably back off to 1 packet per 20 gallons until the fish resume eating.
 

blackstallion

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It could be factoring into the appetite suppression. Aquarium companies aren't exactly known for their QC standards, and every batch of Furan-2 that gets packaged probably contains a slightly different concentration of Nitrofurazone & Doxycycline Hyclate. If you happened to get packets that were slightly overdosed to begin with ..... :eek:

I would probably back off to 1 packet per 20 gallons until the fish resume eating.
The Sailfin did not make it through the night and the Purple is on the tank bottom on his side not close behind I assume.

As stated, I don't have a second tank to transfer him to. I'm thinking I may get him out into an aerated bucket for a couple hours to give me time to sterilize his current tank and set it back up without medication. I feel like this is his only chance.
 

blackstallion

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What does it mean if a fish can't keep his equilibrium and when he tries to swim, swims in spirals or upside down? This is what the Purple Tang is doing now.

I am still in the process of getting him into cleaner water, but observed this behavior.
 

blackstallion

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Regarding my Purple Tang , I'm reading online, several things can cause fish to swim in a spiral and stay at the bottom of the tank on their side or upside, but several are Ammonia poisoning, Swim bladder disease and low temperature. I don't believe I had Ammonia issues, but, I performed some big water changes in the last day. No Ammonia burns. I have been running temperature at 72 for the past several days but will bring it back up to the 76 range. Swim bladder disease? Not sure. Will these resolve with good water quality and regular temperature? Right now I plan on discontinuing the antibiotics BUT have kept the Cu levels at least at 1.5ppm since I could not get him into a sterile tank.
 

blackstallion

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@blackstallion He's probably just getting weak from not eating. The temperature has nothing to do with it.
Appreciate your help and feedback.

At this point, from what I can tell, and the way he's behaving, he either has a spinal injury (which is very possible because I saw him darting in the tank earlier), swim bladder disease or just in the last stages of succumbing to the affects of Velvet.

Eventhough I have learned a lot of hard lessons here, this is still very difficult to cope with since I have been doing everything I can to save these two fish in the past several weeks.

I'm just hopeful these lessons will allow me to have higher chances of success in the future.
 

blackstallion

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So this is the end of an ordeal that has been quite taxing on the fish (and me) in the past several weeks. I am posting pictures only to see if anyone can glean any data on what may have caused them to die, although there are obviously numerous things, including obviously the Velvet.

20201005_083357.jpg
20201004_071234.jpg
 

blackstallion

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@blackstallion Unfortunately, I have nothing more to add other than I would completely sterilize the QT you treated them in and start over. I'm sorry you lost them. :(
Thanks for your help and patience.

Just to close out this ordeal, it seems one HUGE error on my part that may have pushed these fish over the edge was dropping the QT SG from 30ppt to 23ppt. This was done in hopes of helping bring the Velvet under control....I made false assumptions when assuming I could do this in the presence of Copper Power at therapeutic levels. Could this help explain the erratic swimming behavior the fish were exhibiting shortly before their death's ie. swimming in spirals/etc.?
 

Humblefish

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Just to close out this ordeal, it seems one HUGE error on my part that may have pushed these fish over the edge was dropping the QT SG from 30ppt to 23ppt. This was done in hopes of helping bring the Velvet under control....I made false assumptions when assuming I could do this in the presence of Copper Power at therapeutic levels. Could this help explain the erratic swimming behavior the fish were exhibiting shortly before their death's ie. swimming in spirals/etc.?

Doing that would have raised the Cu level on the fish, but they should have handled the actual drop in salinity just fine. Most fish only have difficultly going up in salinity, not down. However, I would still take an hour or so (out of an abundance of caution) to drip acclimate if going from 30ppt to 23ppt.
 

Aguaman reef

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Reposted with permission. @alprazo

Salvage protocol for very sick fish.

Almost daily I read a post from someone describing a fish sick from either ich or velvet and can predict that it will not make it to the morning.

There are several techniques that can be employed to reduce the metabolic demands on the fish, reduce stress, decrease the damage from its immune response and possibly keep the fish alive until you are able to eradicate the parasite.

1. Decrease the temperature to 72F for most tropical fish.

2. Decrease the salinity to 1.017 or lower

3. Increase the oxygen saturation to greater than 150% by the addition of pure O2.

4. Turn the lights off

5. Intramuscular injection of dexamethasone at 0.5 mg/kg

Though I have never used all of these techniques together, I have used them all and have been surprised to find that fish swimming the following morning. These are recommendations and should be adjusted to the situation.
Can ick or marine velvet hitchhike on invertebrates?
 

Jessican

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Can ick or marine velvet hitchhike on invertebrates?
Yes, that’s why they should be QT’d as well:

 

blackstallion

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Doing that would have raised the Cu level on the fish, but they should have handled the actual drop in salinity just fine. Most fish only have difficultly going up in salinity, not down. However, I would still take an hour or so (out of an abundance of caution) to drip acclimate if going from 30ppt to 23ppt.
I was following the guidance in the second post in this thread which states dropping the SG to that level can be done immediately vs. for the temperature it stated over several hours. Maybe I misinterpreted the meaning?

"First it is important to decrease metabolic demand and this can be done by:

- Decreasing the temperature - I shoot for 70 or lower over several hours.
- Decreasing the Specific Gravity to 1.015 (can be done immediately)"
 

Humblefish

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I was following the guidance in the second post in this thread which states dropping the SG to that level can be done immediately vs. for the temperature it stated over several hours. Maybe I misinterpreted the meaning?

"First it is important to decrease metabolic demand and this can be done by:

- Decreasing the temperature - I shoot for 70 or lower over several hours.
- Decreasing the Specific Gravity to 1.015 (can be done immediately)"

That was copy & pasted from alprazo (one of my mentors). And while it technically may be safe to do; I'm just a bit more cautious about such things.
 

Aguaman reef

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Yes, that’s why they should be QT’d as well:

Thank you so much. Just pulled fish out today. Going fallow 90 days. Inverts still in tank. No corals, only rock left.
Yes, that’s why they should be QT’d as well:

 

Tony Thompson

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Great information as always @Humblefish . I would just like to add that as far as I am aware, dexamethasone sodium phosphate is a prescription drug only in the UK.

I would also like to add advice to UK and European hobbyists, please do not try to bypass your borders control on restricted medicines by ordering online from outside your borders. This also applies to the possible misuse of antibiotics.

Veterinary, Ornamental trade and Medical organisations all have guidelines on the use of medications. Please consult a relevant organisation in your country.
 

Tony Thompson

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To add information on my last post. UK based hobbyists.

By law your LFS, must hold a licence to sell ornamental fish. As part of the requirements to obtain this licence the store must be registered with a veterinary practice. They should be able to give you contact details. Good LFS should also be able to give you contact details of a local vet with expertise in the relevant field of aquatic animals.
 
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